Is the 21" mac good enough for design work?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hdsalinas, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. hdsalinas macrumors 6502

    hdsalinas

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Location:
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    #1
    Hi,

    I need to get an imac soon since my current 4 year old MBP is getting ready to retire.

    I am considering a 21" (base) imac since I dont want to spend too much right now. I will be doing web design, brochure and magazine design as well as some video editing. It will need to do a better job than my current MBP does dealing with my iphoto library (+50GB) -it feels jerky most of the times.

    Today I was talking with a printshop that has a new 21" and i asked them about it and they told me that they are great except for the video card. She said that the video card was not powerful enough to work with large print jobs.

    I am sure that the video card on the base imac is better than the one currently on my mac but I am concerned about what she said.

    Is the video card as bad as she made it sound, and does it has to do with the performance of vector graphics and programs like indesign and photoshop.
     
  2. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    Hi,

    What kind of video editing are you planning on doing (home movies or professional work?) - For design Id recommend stretching to a 27" iMac if you can, or certainly the higher end 21.5" iMac just for the graphics upgrade.
     
  3. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    The following statement makes very little sense:

    "video card was not powerful enough to work with large print jobs"

    The video card has virtually nothing to do with a Mac's performance on "large print jobs". Having said that, I would also recommend the higher performance video card if you must go with the 21.5. The video card does have something to do with scrolling and viewing speeds, but large print jobs require lots of RAM and as fast and as many CPUs as you can throw at it.

    I've been doing large print jobs with Macs since 1990, and those Macs had nowhere near the power of modern Macs.

    Best of Luck!

    dmz
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    Video editing is the killer. You can never have enough screen space and never a fast enough disk. The files are huge and FinalCut has some many controls and windows that take up space. It's worth getting a four-core machine if you spend much time editing video.

    The dual core iMac is not a big leap from your MBP except in terms of the size of the screen
     
  5. hdsalinas thread starter macrumors 6502

    hdsalinas

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Location:
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    #5
    Well video editing will be mostly done in imovie (homemovies) although I might use final cut for a project or two.

    The main reason I am considering the 21" is because:

    1) My MBP has called in sick, cant do work on it. (dead keyboard, dead battery, dead superdrive and maybe dead power supply) I will have to put some $$$ into it and wait for parts to get here, ( I live in Honduras.... it would take a few weeks for parts to get here.)

    2) Price is a factor right now, the 27" imac sells for US$2207 here while the base 21" is more budget friendly at US$ 1366. -thats almost one grand difference.

    3) The 21" is available in store, while I would have to wait for the other to get delivered.

    4) I have work to do! Cant wait much to make a decision.


    So I pretty much want to know if this video card is enough for most design task and how much better is the one on the base 27".
     
  6. Hermes Monster macrumors 65816

    Hermes Monster

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I have the base 21.5 iMac and run illustrator on it most days, and I have zero issues with it - it's extremely responsive and I find the screen space to be ample. I couldn't be happier with mine!

    Additionally, I have run PS on it without any issues (both CS5)
     
  7. hdsalinas thread starter macrumors 6502

    hdsalinas

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Location:
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    #7
    That is what I though... I use a 24" 2.4 C2D iMac at work and it does a decent job (just needs more ram - it only has 2GB and tops at 4GB). Although it has a bigger screen, both have similar resolutions, 1920x1200 vs 1920 by 1080 pixels - just 120 px taller.

    I wonder how these two compare
     
  8. Mikey7c8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #8
    How long does it take to ship gear to Honduras, and will you lose a significant (to you, or in general) amount of money in the meantime?

    Screen res is a bit of an equalizer for the 21", though personally I agree with the other poster that I'd prefer the uprated 21 over the base model if nothing else.
     

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